Exclamation Point: When, How, and Why to Use It?

January 8th, 2021

Reading time about 13 min

The systematic use of punctuation marks in writing is essential. Writers can easily express their feelings with the help of it. Like pause, comma, exclamation point, or exclamation mark has its significance in expression and is used at the end of the sentences.

exclamation point, Exclamation mark

The exclamatory sentences express different emotions like anger, surprise, joy, sorrow, etc. Besides that, the writers can also use exclamation marks in sentence fragments, sudden interjections, etc. For example, “Hurrah! We won the match.”

How Relevant Is It to Use an Exclamation Mark in the Sentence?

A student should know what does an exclamation point means before using it in their content. Faulty use of punctuation marks is harmful to the writing itself. It destroys the essence, tone, and style of writing. Since a sentence is about telling a language or telling a story but about expression, the punctuation marks have significant roles to play.

Exclamation points are no exceptions. In a sentence, they signify the emotion that is depicted in a sentence. Just like a period is for declarative sentences, exclamatory sentences are inseparable parts of exclamatory sentences.

Know About Varied Usage of Exclamation Marks

  • Use of Quotation Marks In Direct Sentences:

For direct sentences, when there is a sense of anger and disgust, the exclamation marks can be used. It may signify shouting or yelling. For example, the teacher said, “Stop Shouting!”

  • Use of Exclamatory Quotations:

Using exclamation points in quotations is very simple. The writer needs to use the exclamation point at the end of the sentence. For example, “The woods look scary at this time of night!” said John. The exclamation point gets tricky when there is another exclamation point at the end of the sentence.

exclamation point, Exclamation mark in the bubble

Writers can add the exclamation point at the end of the sentence. It is applied to the overall model of the sentence. For example, “The teacher only wanted to tell that “nothing is scary, only the flashlight went off”!

  • Use of Exclamation Marks within Parentheses:

The exclamation point is used inside the parenthesis when the words inside the parentheses have an exclamation point. For example, John is scared because it was dark (flashlights are gone too!).

The writers can also put the exclamation mark outside the parentheses if the exclamation mark applies to the overall sense indicated in the whole sentence. For example, “In the beginning, I was happy with them, and then what they did shocked me (it was unbelievable)!”

Although one can use exclamation points and parenthesis together, their use is not very regular. Instead, the usage is relatively rare.

Tone Decides the Usage of Exclamation Marks.

For exclamation marks, the writer needs to realize the sentence’s tone. The mood of a sentence decides the expression that will be followed by an exclamation point. In such cases, one may use the exclamation after the word.

For example, the emotions of sorrow and joy use exclamation marks, and the writers use them as, ‘Alas!’, ‘Hurrah!’ etc. Sometimes, the exclamation points are used after a whole sentence. For example, ‘How gorgeous the lady is!’

As an expression of surprise: “Wow! The show-piece is very pretty!”

As an expression of amusement: “Bravo! Our team worked hard to achieve first place in the inter-school competition.”

As an expression of sorrow and disappointment: “Oh no! He got hurt during the race.”

The writers need to understand that they can use a single exclamation for a sentence unless there is the need to use multiple exclamation points in a single sentence.

Wrong Use of Exclamation Marks

The most crucial and challenging part of the written language is the expression. If the writer wants to state their emotion in writing clearly, they can arrange the sentence. The feeling gets more apparent with the use of the punctuation marks.

Supposedly, when a writer writes, “I am shocked to see how to mean you can be,” the reader realizes the rage, disappointment, and disgust dripping from the narrator’s voice. When the writer includes an exclamation mark at the end, “I am shocked at how to mean you can be!” the readers almost become sure that the speaker is enraged with someone’s behaviour.

However, the overuse of exclamation marks can be harmful to the writing. If the write-up has a very high density of exclamation points, readers get annoyed and start ignoring it. The sense of urgency also gets diluted with the overuse.

The writer can simply use their vocabulary to create the emotion, rather than filling the entire content with exclamation marks. If the content is for any official writing or academic writing, it is best to avoid exclamation points.

The Use of Upside Down Exclamation Marks:

The Spanish and Latin American writers use inverted question marks or exclamation points in the sentences. They use upside-down exclamation points at the beginning of the exclamatory phrases or sentences. It is also used by other language writers who have cultural ties with the Spanish languages, which include Galician, Asturian, and Waray writers.

exclamation point, disclaimer

The writers of the languages that use Latin alphabets use upside-down exclamation points. The use of the inverted punctuation marks in Spanish is critical as the language’s syntax means both the statement and the exclamation may have the same wordings.

Exclamation Marks and Plagiarism Checker:

It may happen that a student or writer is using parts of another author’s writing in their work. In that case, they must take account of the punctuation marks. When they are quoting the words, they must also place the quotation marks as it is. If they forget to place them properly, then that is an instance of misquotation.

While using a quotation mark along with an exclamation mark, the writer should keep one thing in mind. The exclamation mark should be there outside the quotation marks and not inside it. For example, if the writer wants to write, “I am at the top of the world,” then they should write it in the following way:

“I am at the top of the world”!

It is the correct way of using an exclamation mark while using the quotation marks.

Since misquotation is also a part of plagiarism, the writers and students must be careful. For academic writing, plagiarism is taken seriously. The students who have used quotation marks to use parts of another writer’s work to substantiate their argument must use a plagiarism checker

They need to avoid the chances of plagiarism by removing the Misquotes. It is the reason utilizing a content checker is mandatory before submitting a project.

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